Former Alabama Players React To Kenny Stabler’s Passing


Up above the title of this article is the statue of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant as he looks over the crowd at the Walk of Champions in Tuscaloosa in the same way he looked over Kenny Stabler and the others quoted in this piece. As most know, Stabler passed away on Wednesday evening in Gulfport, Miss. He had silently battled colon cancer since February without anyone outside of his close friends and family circle knowing.

Next: Statements On The Passing Of Kenny Stabler

Next to their families, these players will most of the time have the closest relationship with their teammates. They experience so many emotions together that it’s almost natural. On a weekend during football season, they could feel the joy of winning or the agony of defeat. During weeks like this, they all share in the emotion of sorrow for the teammate and Crimson Tide brother whose race on Earth has been run.

After the news broke of his passing, CBS Sports spoke to Dennis Homan which was the player that made the block that sent Stabler to the end zone for the 53-yard “Run In The Mud” during the 1967 Iron Bowl against Auburn. “I’m looking at the picture right now,” Homan said Thursday night by phone. “They talk about the ‘Run in the Mud.’ I always said, ‘Look at the block in the mud. I’m the guy in front of you that knocked that guy upside down so you could walk into the end zone.’ We always got a big laugh.”

Homan also talked about an event during his senior year that pulled the reigns in on Stabler just a bit. “He didn’t show up for curfew, let’s say that,” recalled Homan, Stabler’s roommate. “He probably had two or three women here or there. I know when they did bed check he wasn’t there. I used to stuff his bed with pillows and had an old mop that I’d use as his head and was hoping they wouldn’t catch it. After a while, they found out and it didn’t work. Best thing that ever happened to him. When he came back, Snake was a lot more serious.”

Bob Baumhower | Photo Credit: University of Alabama

Another Alabama legend, Bob Baumhower, knew that Stabler was sick but didn’t know how bad it was. He had just spoken to him six months back. The two greats actually talked about a restaurant together before Stabler’s condition started to get worse. “Oh yeah, he’s Kenny Stabler. As far as I was concerned, he’d live forever,” Baumhower said according to “He’s still a hero. He’s a hero. … He’s the kind of guy you think is bigger than life. You don’t think he’s going to go anywhere.”

During Stabler’s life, he was known for living it by the seat of his pants. Heck, we all do that at times. However in his death, Baumhower wants people to remember Stabler for the man that he was and for the things that he did for others. “He was always very sincere when he talked to you,” Baumhower said. “He was sincere when he talked to my kids. Obviously, as a dad, you pay attention to how somebody speaks to your kids, and whether or not they really see them. And Kenny Stabler was the kind of guy that would talk to your kids and make them feel special. He’s just a super, super guy to me.”

“He was a great football player ― legendary,” Baumhower said. “But I hope they remember him for having a really big heart. I don’t think you hear enough about that side of Kenny.”